After Cookie left us on February 3, 2012, I took a break from blogging for a week. When I came back I posted these two sketches, “Two Girls at Dinner” first, noting that of “the other Big Four” there were only two left, and next “Kelly in a Ball”, above, celebrating how relaxed she seemed for the first time after losing her big sister, Cookie. It was also a moment for me to accept and share my loss in the way I do, in writing, photos and paintings. I still remember those moments of feeling as if I was starting over and it still surprises me that I’ve come so far when I felt so sad. It’s a testament to healing, especially now as we remember Emeraude. To my friends out there who have recently lost a precious animal companion, be kind to yourselves and let time work its healing.
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Kelly has been sleeping a little more comfortably on my desk, right on top of everything. And there’s a lot there to sleep on.
But she has a totally endearing habit of rolling herself up into an ever-tighter ball of tortie spots with her legs all tangled and her tail twisted in there and her head turned sideways or upside down. Cutest of all, which you sadly can’t hear in her sketch, is how she talks to herself and to me, making little happy Kelly sounds, chirps and soft mmmrrrrrrrs, now and then a real meow, and lots of purrrrs.
And I nearly always take a reference photo even of my sketch subjects. In this case, I knew she wasn’t going to hold the pose for too long so I could work from the photo, and in some other cases I might want to use the reference photo for something more finished at another time. It never hurts to have more photos of cats around.
Colored pencil again; it’s become a convenient way to use color with shadings I can’t get in marker and I don’t have to worry about the mess of chalk or oil pastel, and no special paper for watercolor. I’ve never felt I handled colored pencil well, but after all these sketches of my cats I feel much more confident about them.
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Two Girls At Dinner
Mimi and Kelly enjoy dinner on the cabinet while “the kids” eat on the floor.
I’ve been wanting to try this idea for a while. It’s every hue of colored pencil in the box following nearly the same lines, but with enough variation that you see full color and mixed color throughout the sketch. It tends to cover up all the little tweaks and trills I add to my sketches as my hand skips from place to place, but I like the strength of the shapes and the colors themselves, it makes me think of confetti and makes me happy.
I am determined not to pull up sad moments as I begin posting again, but I sketch what happens in life. While browsing photos over the week I saw one from two years ago of “the other big four”, four girls at dinner: Peaches, Cookie, Kelly and Mimi.
Then when I began sketching I was glad to catch one of my favorites, “Dinnertime”, featuring three girls at dinner: Kelly, Mimi and Cookie.
So here are Mimi and Kelly with the entire cabinet to themselves. Over the years I’ve seen a parade of cats on this cabinet, always reserved for the ones I need to observe a little more closely, or those who were uncomfortable eating in close proximity to too many cats. Or those who are just special, like Mimi, who is not older or ill and certainly enjoys the company of her children, but who has always felt it was appropriate that she get to eat on the cabinet eating special kitty food, as the seniors often get, like a special kitty should.
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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.